From his early days studying literature at university, drinking fixer in the dark room, learning zone system and processing negatives to recent works his pursuit of new experiences pushes him to continually evolve his vision, while reminding him of the importance of carrying his camera with curiosity and respect.
Guided by his curiosity he decides to go to work before in South Korea and then in Japan where he lives and deepens the study of language and local traditions as key tools of intercultural understanding. Artistic inclination and intellectual shrewdness blend intensely in his way to talk to this nation.
The profound reverence for the nature and the people, his rare ability to recognize seemingly insignificant events not only as beautiful but as important, are in my opinion, some of the peculiar elements of his artistc vision.
In order to see we have to stop and observe his images. We have to decide to activate our visional interpretive faculties to understand some peculiar features of his artistic vision.
His silences are palpable, his vision is intimate, his attention to the most trivial detail is the result of the belief that every aspect is worthy of admiration and contemplation. Ways of life, languages and religions of this earth can be different but the inner longing to communicate with the Infinite is what all the human beings share. It seems to me that Alessandro has started to examine his own life and all that happens to him through the consciousness of the Absolute and not from the narrow standpoint of his own beliefs. The result are images poised between the Infinite they yearn for and the finite of the paper of which they are made. Images that reawaken what is already present within people communicating sensations that through the language of art, we perceive as revelations.
Photography and his curiosity then led him to the regions of North Africa and Central Asia, to countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, but it was his stays in Hong Hong, Vietnam, China and Taiwan which had a decisive influence on his human and philosophical journey, giving him the opportunity to deepen his knowledge of Taoist thought, Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong, disciplines he already used to practice and which undoubtedly contributed to developing that vision and sensitivity that are also evident in his images.
I like thinking that Alessandro is a poet who captures in haiku the verses of his life. His photos carrie the images to a different level that seems to belong to an intagible world that creates a new reality permeated by a sense of nostalgia and peace. The concept of presence is changed into something blurred and fleeting that would try vainly to grasp logically.
Niccolai is not interested in relying everything on the technique or the instruments, it seems that his work is created only for his eyes and his sensitivity. It's always difficult to express a feeling when you approach a work for the first time, when we find the pleasure of a beauty that we did not know until then. It is not a matter of colour or black and white, it's like when you can enjoy a musical or pictorial work and become part of a meeting between the senses, imaginative sound background to the ears, frame itself of the object of observation. When he snaps as well as when he realizes his photos, he definitely takes awareness of the relationship established with time and form. The observer could recognize in the photography of Alessandro all these fragments of memory. A combination of senses created with images. A confession of his most intimate dreams.
Yuki Eguchi (Tokyo Art Gallery Agency)
Black and White
Under the pale light
Of a darkroom,
From the water that evokes the image,
Arises a time that is only yours.
The scent emerges,
The wind passes
As the voice i hear coming
From the dephts of memories already indistinct.
Niccolai’s work allows us to experience how deep his tie is with his images, tie that he knows how to elaborate with his own, almost poetic, interpretation.
His photographs compel us to view them in a very particular way because we are forced to stop and observe in order to see them. We have to activate our interpretive and visual capacities. He gives us back the time to stop and discover how many beautiful things surround us, secretly. In my opinion there’s a central thread running through Niccolai’s work...its lack of casualness. This then, may be the key to his personality and to his works.
By J. Harrison